This was her first gold medal at the South African Practical Shooting Association (SAPSA) Handgun (Level III) Nationals, Round 1, in Kraaifontein, Western Cape. There is no doubt she is a valuable member of the South African team heading off to the IPSC World Championship in France later this year. “Winning the gold in the Ladies Open Class was a big deal for me,” says Alexis, known as Lexi. “It was the one title that had been eluding me, as I had one silver and/or bronze before, but never the gold. I am very proud of the achievement.”
GROWING UP WITH FIREARMS Having grown up around firearms, her success on the range is hardly surprising. Her parents, Keith and Debbi Biermann, introduced her to the sport at a young age. As owners of the False Bay Firearm Training Academy, they have been at her side supporting and cheering her on. “I was not always interested in shooting though. I never wanted to come to the range, but when I was about ten, my mom promised me a pair of pink earmuffs, and I agreed. The shop owner did not have any pink, but immediately said he had gold Barbie ones. I was sold,” Lexi recalls.
Lexis’s hopes for France are a clean match, with equipment and the operator as one.
SHOOTING COMPETITIVELY AT 14
She started shooting competitively at the age of 14, and has represented South Africa at the World Championships before. Her hopes for France are a clean match, where the equipment and the operator work well together. Training has started in earnest, and Lexi spends at least five days on the range at the False Bay Sports Shooting Club, where she trains with Rodney Haycock. “I prefer to train with live ammunition rather than dry fire, so most of my training is done at the range. I am lucky that I live in close proximity to the range, which means it is easily accessible,” she says. “I try, when possible, to shoot a minimum of 200 rounds a day.”
A BSc Zoology graduate from the University of Pretoria, this has not always been possible the past few years. “I was shooting far less while studying, but I am hoping to increase my range days ahead of the next Nationals round in July and the World Shoot later this year,” Lexi adds. Her firearm, a Para-Ordnance .38 super, has been customised by the gunsmiths at the False Bay Firearm Training Academy. “When I started competing, they built me a 9 mm Open firearm that would make minor factor. In my second national event, there were loading issues, and I could not continue competing. We then decided to go the .38 super calibre way, and I have never looked back.”
She has made several modifications when compared to a stock-standard firearm, including the addition of a thumb rest, red-dot sight, and a compensator. “I absolutely love it. It fits my hand perfectly, and has worked extremely well.” With plans to go study field guiding in Bela Bela later this year, Lexi has a busy year ahead. “For now though I enjoy being able to shoot every day again,” she concludes.